Player Countdown: Zach Jancarski, #3

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks three days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #3, Zach Jancarski.

CF Zach Jancarski
CF Zach Jancarski

ZACH JANCARSKI | 3

Year: Junior

Position: Outfield

Bats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 6’0”/180

Hometown: East Norriton, Pa.

Previous School: Chestnut Hill Academy

2016 Spring Stats: 46 G (28 GS), .257, 4 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 18 R, 5 SB

2016 Summer Stats (Sanford Mainers, NECBL): .288, 10 2B, 13 RBI, 27 R, 20 SB

About Zach: As a freshman, Zach Jancarski appeared in 28 games for the Terps, starting in four.  He went on to establish himself as the every day center fielder during late April of his sophomore season. He hit .257 but got on base at a .348 clip and ranked third on the team with five stolen bases.  Jancarski was an All-Star for the Sanford Mainers in the New England Collegiate Baseball League last summer, and finished second in the league with 20 stolen bases.

Jancarski was featured on the latest episode of the Maryland Baseball Network podcast, which can be found below.

Preseason Countdown: Mike Rescigno, #40

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks 40 days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #40, Mike Rescigno.

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RHP Mike Rescigno

MIKE RESCIGNO | 4o

Position: Pitcher

Bats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 6’1”/230

Hometown: Monmouth Beach, N.J.

Previous School: Red Bank Catholic High School

2016 Spring Stats: 2-1, 19.1 IP, 5.59 ERA, 23 K, 3 SV

2016 Summer Stats (Baltimore Redbirds, Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League): 15.2 IP, 1.14 ERA, 19 K

About Mike: As a freshman in 2014, Rescigno started 24 times with nine starts at third base, eight at DH and seven at first base.  He finished the season hitting .241 with a .401 on-base percentage. As a sophomore, Rescigno moved from the corners of the infield to the pitcher’s mound, making six appearances and holding a 2.25 ERA.  As a junior, Rescigno appeared out of the bullpen 23 times and earned his first career save against Bryant University with a spotless ninth inning. Rescigno carried his success into the Cal Ripken league this summer, where he was named the league’s top prospect by Baseball America and Perfect Game.  Rescigno was drafted in the 25th round by the San Fransisco Giants in the 2016 Draft, but elected to return to Maryland for his senior season.

With speed, defensive prowess, Chris Alleyne ready to compete in College Park

Chris Alleyne is one of ten players in the class of 2017 who have signed their National Letter of Intent to play baseball for Maryland.

The switch-hitting middle infielder out of Philadelphia, Pa., signed his National Letter of Intent on November 9.

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Chris Alleyne signed his National Letter of Intent to play for Maryland on Nov. 9.

“There’s just a huge difference in the way that the conversations went with the coaches at Maryland,” Alleyne, a senior at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, said. “They really just explained everything perfectly and I love the campus.”

Springside Chestnut Hill head coach Joe Ishikawa is confident that Alleyne is well prepared for Maryland. He believes that defensively, Alleyne could play at the Division I level now.

“Defensively, he’s in another world,” he said.

According to Ishikawa, Alleyne has quick hands, a great arm and is very versatile. He allows Ishikawa to play his outfield deep because of how well he can move to shallow left and center field from shortstop.

Offensively, Ishikawa described Alleyne as a clutch switch hitter with gap-to-gap power, who is also very fast.

“When he gets on the base path he creates chaos pretty quickly,” Ishikawa said. “Its rare he gets on first and not work his way around to score.”

Alleyne was named a high honorable mention on Rawlings and Perfect Game’s 2016 Preseason All-American Team.

Alleyne will join a former Springside Chestnut Hill Blue Devil on the Terps’ roster next fall.

Junior outfielder Zach Jancarski, who is good friends with Alleyne’s older brother, showed Alleyne around the campus during his visit to Maryland.

During Jancarski’s first year on the Terps, he entered as a pinch runner sixteen times and started in four games. As a sophomore, Jancarski started in 28 games and became the everyday center fielder two months into the season.

Ishikawa predicts a similar path for Alleyne.

“It’s very difficult for a freshman to come in and take the place of a returning senior, but I’m sure he’s going to get time,” Ishikawa said. “He’s just such a presence on a field.”

Alleyne is up for any challenge.  He plans to come out and compete for his spot on the team everyday when he arrives in College Park.

“I love to compete because I think it brings out the best in players and it’s a huge part of my game,” Alleyne said.

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Ishikawa congratulates Alleyne after scoring an insurance run. (Chestnut Hill Local/Jonathan Vander Lugt)

Ishikawa pointed out Alleyne’s competitive spirit as one of his biggest strengths.

“He is just a true competitor and with that comes his extraordinary work ethic,” Ishikawa said.

Until Alleyne gets the opportunity to compete for a spot on the field at Maryland, he is preparing for his senior season by working on hitting for power.

In addition to improving another aspect of his game, Alleyne’s goal for his senior season is to be a good leader.

“I want to lead my team to a league championship by bringing them together and setting a foundation for the freshmen and sophomores,” Alleyne said.

Typically, the captain position on Springside Chestnut Hill’s team is reserved for seniors. However, Alleyne was named captain by his teammates last year, as a junior, and will return as head captain this year.

“Everyone gravitates to [Alleyne],” Ishikawa said. “If you take nine magnetic balls and spread them apart and then run one around them picking them all up, that’s him.”

 

Freshmen Tyler Blohm and Barrett Smith take different paths to College Park

Of the eight freshmen that joined the Terps roster for 2017, one is a 2016 Major League draft pick, and one is a walk-on.

Freshmen LHP Tyler Blohm, who was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2016 MLB Draft, and infielder Barrett Smith, who earned a roster spot this fall, were vital members of an Archbishop Spalding team that won three consecutive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference Championships.

Smith was second on the Cavaliers with a .444 batting average, and led the team with 14 doubles and 32 RBIs. But, the infielder wasn’t sure he’d play college baseball after missing a summer of baseball due to Tommy John surgery prior to his junior year—a crucial recruiting period.

Blohm, meanwhile, was named the 2016 Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year after posting a 9-0 record with a 0.74 ERA, striking out 103 in 66 innings.

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LHP Tyler Blohm

“You could tell [Blohm] was going to be a special player from a very young age and he fulfilled his potential for sure at the high school level,” Archbishop Spalding Head Coach Joe Palumbo said.

The two have been playing together since they were twelve-years-old, from Severna Park, Md., to Archbishop Spalding, and now, in College Park, Md.

“Coming onto a team where I really didn’t know a lot of people, it’s nice to always have Barrett [Smith] there to talk to,” Blohm said.

For Blohm, it was a forgone conclusion that he’d be playing baseball past high school, whether at Maryland or professionally. The left-hander signed his National Letter of Intent to join the Terps in November of 2015.

Joining the Terps, however, meant turning down an opportunity to begin his professional career. The southpaw was drafted by his hometown Baltimore Orioles in the 2016 Major League Draft. He was the first player drafted out of Archbishop Spalding under Palumbo.

“It’s absolutely pretty exciting,” Palumbo told The Baltimore Sun. “It’s the cherry on top to a very special season for Archbishop Spalding. Having one of our guys drafted by the hometown major league team is pretty cool.”

Blohm would have been slotted to be drafted much earlier than the 17th-round had he not had a strong commitment to Maryland. The Orioles called him in the fourth round, giving him an offer and fifteen minutes to make a decision. Blohm said the arrival of new pitching coach Ryan Fecteau was a big part of his decision to decline the offer and keep his commitment to the Terps. Still, the Orioles used their 17th-round pick on Blohm, in case he changed his mind.

A little more than a month later, and Blohm officially declared his intent on coming to Maryland.

Blohm earned a spot on the varsity team his freshman year, racking up 25 wins in his four-year high school career. His senior season, along with 9-0 record and 0.74 ERA, he held opposing batters to a .142 batting average.

“He was a very good left-handed pitcher, but I don’t think it was until his senior year that it exploded,” Maryland Associate Head Coach Rob Vaughn said.

Blohm—who was ranked Maryland’s fifth-best prospect by Prep Baseball Report—didn’t change much on the field during his four varsity seasons, but says his more dedicated preparation in the offseason between junior and senior seasons turned him into a dominant starter.

“Sophomore and junior year I did just enough, and I think senior year I had a thought process and just said ‘I’m going to go all out and see what happens,’” Blohm said.

Palumbo believes that Blohm’s success on the field is a direct result of the work he put in off of the field.

“His off-the-field work ethic is second to none in my opinion,” Palumbo said.

The Maryland coaching staff shut Blohm down this fall after he threw 66 innings his senior year and 26 more innings in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League this past summer. Blohm went 7-4 with a 2.04 ERA for the league runner-up Baltimore Redbirds, and was named a CRCBL All-Star along with Redbirds and now Terps teammates RHP Hunter Parsons, RHP Mike Rescigno and OF Marty Costes.

“I think that one thing that is pretty certain is that that guy is going to eat up quite a few innings for us this year whether that’s out of the bullpen or whether that’s in a starting role,” Vaughn said.

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Infielder Barrett Smith

Smith wasn’t sure he would have the opportunity to play baseball after high school. He had Tommy John surgery prior to transferring to Archbishop Spalding his junior year and lost recruiting time, according to Palumbo. Palumbo believes that Smith’s surgery influenced the path that he took to Maryland because he missed a whole summer of baseball.

Although Smith wanted to play college baseball, he wanted to be happy where he was going to school. He liked Maryland enough to apply by the priority deadline, even though he had never spoken to the coaches.

But, in traveling to watch the Cavaliers and Blohm, Vaughn noticed another player on the field—Smith.

“You had this kid that was an unbelievably great student who really wanted to come to Maryland and every game that I went to, the kid played really, really well,” Vaughn said.

“My goal when I went out there was to have the best day I could, whether that was at the plate or on the field,” Smith said. “I guess I showed that I could put forth the effort to get somewhere.”

Smith was offered a spot this fall to practice and workout with the team, where he earned his spot on the roster.

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Barrett Smith catches AJ Lee in a rundown during a Fall intrasquad scrimmage. (Hannah Evans/Maryland Baseball Network)

“[Smith] said ‘I’m going to Maryland, I’m going to be awesome in the classroom and I’m gonna earn a spot,’ and that’s exactly what he did,” Vaughn said.

Palumbo believes that outside of Smith’s baseball skills, it was his willingness to compete and mental toughness that allowed him to adapt to the Archbishop Spalding baseball program and to earn a spot on the Maryland baseball team.

“I think that guys that are willing to work can far exceed expectations, ” said Vaughn.

Now, Blohm and Smith are teammates once again, trading in the white and red of the Cavaliers for the red, black, and gold of the Terps.

“It’s a pretty cool thing to be able to come into the locker room and then two lockers down is Tyler [Blohm] again,” Smith said. “It’s cool to lace up with him right there next to me.”